16 Apr 2015

Using TMS as a diagnostic tool for parkinsonian syndromes

Dr Kelly Bertram, a consulting neurologist
at the Alfred's Movement Disorders clinic,
demonstrates the use of the TMS device.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is being employed in a research study for early detection and measurement of neurodegenerative disorders including Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Parkinson's Disease (PD) and multiple system atrophy (MSA).

Dr Kelly Bertram (pictured) and Dr Sarah Hewer have designed this study in collaboration with the Movement Disorder team at University of Rome. There is evidence neuronal dysfunction in PSP can be measured utilizing TMS. Given different parkinsonian syndromes are associated with different patterns of brain region involvement, diagnostic accuracy may be improved by the use of TMS. 

The study aims to measure responses to TMS paradigms in patients with PSP and compare these responses to patients with two other forms of parkinsonism, Multiple system atrophy and Parkinson’s disease, and with healthy controls. This will determine if TMS can distinguish between these diagnostic entities. Secondly, they hope to see if these responses correlate with clinical features of disease and change over time with disease progression. Dr Bertram said, "This will allow us to determine if TMS will be useful in future treatment trials."

See more about the Van Cleef/Roet Centre for Nervous Diseases research programs.
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